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Interest Rate Expectations Versus Forward Rates: Evidence From An Expectations Survey

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  • Benjamin M. Friedman

Abstract

The object of this paper is to test several familiar hypotheses about the relationship between the forward rates implied by the term structure and interest rate expectations, using the one ongoing systematic survey that samples market participants' expectations. The substitution of survey data for overidentified constructions removes the principal source of ambiguity that has plagued much of the earlier empirical literature of the term structure. Nevertheless, because of limitations in the available data, it is possible to perform these tests only for the very short end of the maturity spectrum. Section I briefly describes the nature of the interest rate expectations survey and the calculation of the forward rate series from observed term structure data. Sections II-V present the results of testing the hypotheses that the implied term premium is zero on average (II), that it varies systematically with interest rate levels (III), that it varies with outside asset supplies (IV), and that it varies with economic activity (V). Section VI summarizes the findings of these tests and discusses their implications

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin M. Friedman, 1978. "Interest Rate Expectations Versus Forward Rates: Evidence From An Expectations Survey," NBER Working Papers 0295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0295
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. F. A. Lutz, 1940. "The Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 36-63.
    2. J. M. Culbertson, 1957. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(4), pages 485-517.
    3. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H, 1972. "Money, Debt, and Economic Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(5), pages 951-977, Sept.-Oct.
    4. J. E. Stiglitz, 1970. "A Consumption-Oriented Theory of the Demand for Financial Assets and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(3), pages 321-351.
    5. Franco Modigliani & Richard Sutch, 1967. "Debt Management and the Term Structure of Interest Rates: An Empirical Analysis of Recent Experience," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 569-569.
    6. Reuben A. Kessel, 1971. "The Cyclical Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," NBER Chapters,in: Essays on Interest Rates, Volume 2, pages 337-390 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hamburger, Michael J & Platt, Elliott N, 1975. "The Expectations Hypothesis and the Efficiency of the Treasury Bill Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 190-199, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Aaron Tornell, 1996. "Exchange Rate Dynamics and Learning," NBER Working Papers 5530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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